Green Bay Edges Butler For Horizon League Championship

Goalkeeper Ryan Wehking stopped three penalty kicks to lift Green Bay past Butler in the 2009 Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship match at the Butler Bowl on Sunday, Nov. 15.  The two teams battled to a 0-0 tie through two overtime periods, setting up the first penalty kick situation in Horizon League championship match history.

Wehking stopped Butler’s first penalty kick attempt by Boris Gatzky to give his team the advantage, and he later stopped an attempt by Jared Isenthal after successful kicks by Julian Cardona and Ben Sippola.  Green Bay’s first three attempts by David Prochazka, David Znaty and Francois Basty were successful, before Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler deflected the attempt of Horizon League Player of the Year JC Banks.

Green Bay’s goalkeeper then sealed the decision by blocking Butler’s final attempt by Conner Burt.  The stop gave Green Bay (14-2-3) its first Horizon League Men’s Soccer Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The match was exactly what would have been expected from the league’s top two teams.  The #23-ranked Bulldogs (14-2-2) had a 16-11 advantage in shots for the contest, and both teams attempted three shots in the two overtime periods.  Butler out-shot the Phoenix, 11-7 in the second half, but couldn’t slip one past Wehking.

Knopfler finished with four saves in the match, while recording his fifth shutout of the season.  Wehking had two saves and picked up his ninth shutout.  Sophomore Matt Hedges, who hit the cross bar with a shot in the second half, and Cardona had Butler’s two shots on goal.

Gatzky, Sippola and midfielder Kyle VondenBenken each were named to the 11-player All-Tournament Team.  Also selected were Wehking, Banks, Prochazka and Scott Raymonds of Green Bay,  Danny Jeftich and Adrian Ortiz of Valparaiso and Slavisa Ubiparipovic and Marco DiFranco of Cleveland State.  Wehking was named the tournament’s MVP.